Category Archives: Nutrition

coconut-water

A lovely bunch of coconuts

There are many products that are derived from coconuts. A few years ago it was hard to find edible coconut products, I was always searching in healthy food stores or ordering online. But these days, through great social media, the coconut is becoming more readily available in our supermarkets.

So, what is each product and what does it do?

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. There is a plethora of uses for this in both cooking and skin care. It’s a great oil to use due to its versatility at different heats. At room temperature this oil becomes liquid and when cooled it hardens to a solid state. These days there are many brands of coconut oil. When choosing a brand, always opt for organic, cold pressed, virgin coconut oil opposed to refined coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is processed through heating and therefore looses its nutrients and antioxidants. My favourite brand is Nui “Wild Harvest’ Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil.

Coconut butter is the flesh of the coconut which as been ground into a butter. It is creamier than the oil, and is a handy butter to add to delicious desert and snacks recipes.

Coconut flakes are the dried, flaked meat of the coconut. They can be enjoyed raw or lightly toasted and make a great textural addition to recipes.

Desiccated coconut is coconut meat that has been shredded or flaked and then dried to remove as much moisture as possible. Of all the forms of dried coconut this is generally the finest. A great added to or used to coat snacks balls.

Shredded coconut like desiccated coconut is the coconut meat that has been shredded or flaked and then dried, but it’s larger in pieces and has a coarser texture than desiccated. This tastes great added to homemade granola.

Fresh coconut water is the tasty, clear liquid inside young coconuts. It is full of 5-key electrolytes making it great for hydration. Coconut water also comes bottled or packaged for convenience. Beware of flavoured or sweetened products as they can be added with unwanted sugars and preservatives. Coconut water packaged should contain 100% coconut water and nothing else. My favourite brand is ‘C Coconut’ Water

Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a coconut. The rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high saturated fat and oil content. Coconut milk is great added to curries but also makes a delicious dairy-free milk alternative. It’s great to use as the base for smoothies and is also great on your cereal.

Coconut cream is very similar to coconut milk but contains less water giving it a thicker, paste-like texture. Use it much like you would coconut milk in all types of sweet and savoury dishes.

Coconut flour is made by dehydrating coconut meat, and then grinding it into a flour. It’s a great gluten-free alternative with fewer carbohydrates than many other flours and a significantly higher fibre and protein content. Coconut flour is versatile enough to be used as a substitute to wheat flour in baking and savoury dishes, but be mindful that coconut flour soaks up liquid like a sponge. You may have to up your liquid ingredients to accommodate.

Coconut sugar is produced by making several slits into the bud of a coconut tree and collecting the sap. The sap is then boiled until it thickens and solidifies. Coconut sugar is nearly 50% fructose making it a no-go if you are avoiding or quitting sugar. I do not recommend this product of coconut, as it is still adding sugar into your diet.

Coconut nectar is much the same as coconut sugar but in a syrup form similar to agave or honey. As mentioned above, avoid this ingredient if you are quitting sugar. It’s also important to check sugar-free products that use coconut sugar or nectar as their replacement for other sugars.

An important note on preservatives – If you are particularly sensitive to preservatives, avoid any dried or tinned forms of coconut. There are some preservatives such as sulphites 220-228 that are found in most packaged foods. Sulphites are known to cause inflammation and allergic reactions when ingested. Its best to choose organic coconut products at all times to avoid any other chemicals used in the farming process.

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Easy Pesticide Removal For Fruit and Vegetables

When it comes to fruit and veg you want to get the cleanest produce possible. The first answer is to buy organic, but since it’s often three times the price, sometimes that’s simply not realistic. Studies have shown that washing your produce in water does help reduce the pesticide residue, but won’t eliminate all pesticides. So, it’s better to remove as many nasties as you can by using this natural vinegar wash. Another benefit of using a natural vinegar wash is that you are also removing bacteria from the produce. 

HOW TO REMOVE PESTICIDES FROM FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

  1. Fill a large bowl or sink with 4 parts water to 1 part plain white vinegar.
  2. Soak the fruit and vegetable that you would like to clean in the mixture for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Thoroughly rinse the fruit and vegetables well with water
For further reading I highly suggest checking out the Dirty Dozen list for more information about which kinds of produce are the most likely to have the most pesticide residue on them. It’s a great thing to have in mind when buying organic, or doing an extra thorough wash like this one, once you have your groceries home.

 

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RECIPE:- HEALTHY CHOCOLATE (PALEO, RAW, SUGAR-FREE, VEGAN)

Winter is here and the fire is on, a hot cuppa in hand and all we need is some chocolate!

This is an easy to make, healthy, sugar-free recipe to replace chocolate blocks as a snack.

Simple to make with only a few ingredients, blend together, put in the fridge and BANG! – its chocolate time!

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INGREDIENTS -:

90gms raw cashews

120gms raw almonds

250gms (approx 15) pitted medjool dates

50gms (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut (dried, aluminium-free)

20gms (3 tbsp) cacao powder

70gms organic coconut oil

20gms (1 tbsp) raw honey (can choose to remove as already sweet from the dates)

1/4 tsp sea salt

METHOD -:

Grease and line a square biscuit tin with baking paper

Add the nuts to blend and grind, side aside

Blend all remaining ingredients together, then return the nut meal and blend all together

Empty mixture into the prepared tin and press down with the back of a sppon to create a flat surface. Using a knife, mark lines one way and then the other, to create squares.

Refrigerate (or freeze), when solid, remove from tin and break or cut into squares.

Store refrigerate or freeze. So yummy!!

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The Great Australian Dream

Everyone has a dream . . . What’s yours?

Is it the good ol’ Great Australian Dream; big house with a yard and a pool, modern appliances, a big car and exotic holidays. Are any of these on your dream list? How many are on your list? Everyone’s list is different, whether you’re a busy mum, overworked dad or a single shopper.

What are you Needs, what are your Wants? Memories? Love? Family Time? The MOST precious thing we all want is time. It seems everyone is busy and short of time, but when is our time going to stop? No one knows when their clock runs out.

The dream keeps getting bigger, and the house keeps getting larger, and so does the stress that comes with that. It’s crazy to know that 90% of Australians are stressed! Overworked and always busy, trying to make and do more and then more, Go, Go and Go more! A documentary recently aired on Channel 7 about the Aussie Dream, and our wants and needs. Please step aside, take 40mins of your time out and WATCH THIS VIDEO – there is a chance that it will change your life.

Its never too late…

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The Truth About Sugar

Confused about the good and bad things about sugar? Want to learn about the effects of sugar on your health including the ways to substitute better options in your diet?

On Monday 30th March at 7.30pm head down to Zen Den Collective in Dunsborough, SW Western Australia for a community talk and listen to what I have to say about this controversial subject.

Flyer below. Look forward to seeing you there.
Tara

 

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Recipe: Sugar-Free Chocolate Tart

Here is an easy recipe for a Sugar-Free Chocolate Tart.

This week was my husbands birthday and when I asked him what cake he would like for his party, he instantly replied with “your chocolate tart”!

It is a common tradition to have a cake for a birthday celebration. They are often filled with sugar that leave kids, and adults, on sugar highs to follow with sugar lows. As well as not being good for our body it can also lead to temper tantrums in the afternoons. This sugar-free tart is easy to make with no need to bake as well a being a healthy option.

Delicious and a very happy birthday husband :)

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SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE TART

Ingredients:

Base:
3/4 cup raw nuts

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

2-3 tablespoon coconut oil

 

Filling:

3/4 cup raw cacao

21/2 cup medijool dates

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoon pure vanilla (no sugar or alcohol)

 

Method:

Grind nuts into flour in food processor, add in cacao and coconut oil and blend until you get a solid mass.

Spread mass into a thins layer into a pie dish lined with baking paper

Mix all filling ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

Pour filling into pie dish and use back of tablespoon to make filling smooth across the pie

Leave in refridgerator for an hour plus until hard

Serve garnished with raspberries or strawberries

Enjoy :)

 

This fantastic recipe is from a favourite recipe book of mine: ‘The Art of Raw Food” by Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert page 248